I thought I’d show you guys my surgery scars today. Not that you are interested, but maybe this will be therapeutic for me? I’ve been feeling rather self-conscious about them lately. It doesn’t help that as this post was going to press, I asked L what he thought of the picture below. He laughed and made a face. Fuuuuuuck. If you can’t count on your husband to lie to you about your looks, who can you count on?!? Well, whatever. Then I took a quick, unposed pic of his bare stomach, and proceeded to laugh at it for awhile. For some reason, he didn’t find that so comical.

{Yes, the mirror is dirty. Also, yes, I had a belly button piercing, took it out, and have an ugly, wrinkled belly button. Once upon a time, I was a baby ho. I’m paying for it now.}

Back to my scars. They don’t seem to be fading, and at this point I’m assumming they are my new lifelong buddies. They aren’t big. They aren’t gross. They aren’t really a huge deal. But I’m acting like an asshole about this, because…well…I liked my abs. I haven’t liked them for years, but I always assumed I could get them in shape if I wanted to. You know? Now, I just don’t feel I can ever show them off again. I’m also concerned that the sun will darken my scars even more. So bikinis are OUT of the question this summer. Maybe next summer, too.

My mother-in-law still blames L for her c-section scar and “ruining” her pre-pregnancy 90 pound body. I remember being confused at her seemingly over-the-top vanity. I still think she’s rather vain (as it’s been over 30 years since she gave birth), but I’m starting to understand the issue of body change. My body has been permanently changed by this surgery. It’s a weird feeling.

With that said, I am so grateful that the surgery went well, and I am on the road to recovery. Health comes first, of course. The scars are like my battle wounds, except my bad ass scar story isn’t “I was thrown off my motorcycle going 80 down the highway.” Mine is more like, “I had cysts, polyps, and endometriosis.”

Well alrighty then.

In trying to cheer myself up, I spent too much money on this J.Crew swimsuit. It’s the gift I’m giving myself for surviving these past few months with minimal breakdowns, and a new lease on life. 🙂

Anyone else have issues dealing with scars or body change?

thelessthandomesticgoddess

28 Comments

  1. Reply

    Nellie

    June 6, 2011

    Dude! I'm a pass baby ho too! That stupid bar migrated and left me with a scar. I kind of dig it though. My mom tells me all the time that I deserved the scar for disobeying her. I think it's a mark of my leaving the nest. It's not easy to love your body, but I think your scars are a mark of your health. Rock them with pride. You don't need to apologize for feeling how you're feeling. You're human. Thanks for sharing. Not every day is sun shine and unicorns. Your turn will come 🙂

  2. Reply

    Kara

    June 6, 2011

    I have a big ugly scar on my left shoulder from having melanoma removed. They took it off 5 months before my wedding despite my begging to please leave it alone until after the wedding because I'd been working on my buff bride arms and was incredibly vain about them. Seriously, I would have rather risked the cancer spreading than getting the surgery. Lucky for me the doc said no. Thank goodness for photoshop in my wedding album. And three years later the scar is still ugly. People stare but I got over it and started wearing tank tops again. Sometimes when people ask about it, I tell them it's from a knife fight and flex my still-buff arms in their general direction. Rock your sexy scars! You are beautiful and so are they.

  3. Reply

    More Than Rubies

    June 6, 2011

    I used to have a belly piercing, too! The upper hole is still visible with no scars (yet?) but I'm whatevs about it. I do, though, have silvery stretch marks on my inner thighs and hips that I got 10 years ago when I gained the 15-20lbs during my freshman year. To this day, I still cringe when I think about how big I got during university. I hate wearing bathing suits. :o(

  4. Reply

    Amanda

    June 6, 2011

    I know this won't change anything for you, but I would hardly notice them if I saw you out with a bikini on. I absolutely don't think they look bad at all.

    I've always been of the mindset that I am pretty proud of my scars because they represent things I've been through in life. Of course, I don't have any very large or noticeable ones, so maybe I would feel differently if I did?

    I hope that over time you start to feel better about them – and it's totally okay to feel self-conscious after something like this…your body has changed and it's going to take time to get used to it!

  5. Reply

    Amber

    June 6, 2011

    Man, after my pregnancy, my navel ring hole is SO GROSS. Oh well, it's payment for thinking I was cool. 🙂

    A.) I WOULD KILL FOR YOUR STOMACH. Like, I would literally kill someone for that. You have the cutest belly button ever. Is that weird? Okay, I'm weird. 🙂

    B.) You have scars. I have scars. While our scars are drastically different (mine are plentiful from years of eczema, and the c-sec scar hidden in the area no one will ever see even IF I had your abs), we are women who have done things to get scars. They are not defining features, but they're proof of the road we have taken. Be proud that you can say, "FUCK YOU, Endo, I am marked, but I am PROUD. SO FUCK YOU."

    C.) You are still, one hundred percent gorgeous. I'd do you. If I wasn't married, that is. Or straight. But whatever.

    Seriously, Carly. You are unbelievably gorgeous. I've always thought that. So you have some scars, physical and emotional. I dare you to find someone without that. Hell, I'm sure even supermodels have scars, although they want airbrushed out. Rock your scars, lady. Tell people who ask that it was from an act you used to do in the circus, involving gigantic fish hooks and a broom. Then we'll see what people really want to know about. 🙂

  6. Reply

    -J.Darling

    June 6, 2011

    Tanning will probably help even out your skin town and make the scars less noticable.

    I have the same ones from my ovary removal – and I'm not in love with the fact that my belly button is misshapen. But my hubby doesn't mind.

    The first time you wear a bikini, it may FEEL funny, but I would lay money on the fact that no one will be going "ew! Look at her marks!" Even your hubby. 🙂 They are part of your journey to wellness – and don't let that journey rule your life and keep you inside or from wearing what you look amazing in! 🙂 You're in wonderful shape. If you WANT to wear a bikini this summer – rock that! In fact, go buy a new one – because your worth it!

  7. Reply

    -J.Darling

    June 6, 2011

    PS – Forgot to mention that I have the scars of stretch marks from gaining (and losing) a significant amount of weight in my younger years. I HATED them. But I've learned that they (like my belly button) are war wounds – and marks of a battle I've won.

  8. Reply

    Layla

    June 6, 2011

    I like my scars. I didn't like the surgeries that caused them, but I like the scars themselves, because they remind me of what I can endure, what I can recover from, how I can heal and how strong I was when I needed to be. Also, they give me street cred. I refer to them as my 50 Cent scars. 😉

  9. Reply

    Dead Flowers

    June 6, 2011

    I think you're gorgeous and the scars are really tiny. Rock that o e piece this year since it's so cute, but I still think you'd look great in a bikini. 🙂

  10. Reply

    D.

    June 6, 2011

    I had a belly piercing too that I took out with my first pregnancy and after my first one, I have stretch marks, c-section scar and it's just flabby and not to mention the stretch marks on my thighs…..
    I splurged on a one piece but mine is from Target and in navy blue instead of black:
    http://www.target.com/Merona-Womens-1-Piece-Swimdress-Black/dp/B004NSQXLU/ref=br_1_17?ie=UTF8&id=Merona%20Womens%201-Piece%20Swimdress%20Black&node=13706071&searchSize=30&searchView=grid3&searchPage=1&sr=1-17&qid=1307386913&rh=&searchBinNameList=target_com_brand-bin%2Ctarget_com_size-bin%2Ctarget_com_primary_color-bin%2Cprice&searchRank=salesrank&frombrowse=1

  11. Reply

    TropicalHappiness.com

    June 6, 2011

    I think they are pretty tiny scars. And I don't think that ANYONE will notice them if they saw you in a bikini, or if they did notice them, they might see them, think about them for a half of a second and move on. You know why? Because even the hottest chick out there with the tiniest body and tightest abs is still probably a little self conscious, so while she is in a bikini, she is going to be thinking about HER body, not yours! 🙂

    And for what it is worth, i've heard that the new Mederma really does work well on stretch marks and scars. BUT a few years ago, a stylist burned a 3" mark on my shoulder while curling my hair (umm OUCH) and I applied BURN Zone by ScarZone… and it worked. I never thought it would, and the burn was HUGE! But I put it on 3-5 times a day (more than the instructions said, but I was desperate). It actually worked and the cream was relatively cheap. So it might be worth a shot…

    ALSO, buy some ZINC sunscreen and always put that on your scars for the next year or two if you happen to be out in the sun. ZINC will actually block the rays so it will help prevent any darkening of the scars. I did this on my shoulder for about 2 years (NO JOKE… it took dedication) and it really made a difference.

    Good luck. And like I said in the beginning, I think they are tiny scars!!!

  12. Reply

    shutterbugwife

    June 6, 2011

    What a cute bathing suit! I am struggling with the same thing girl! I have a scar just like yours on my side and then one that's really low that no one will ever see (except my husband). But the one I'm the most upset about is the one on my belly button. I loathe it. It is an inch long scar that comes down from my belly button. It isn't fully healed yet so maybe it will fade some, but I'm not incredibly hopeful.

    It actually looks like maybe it didn't heal properly because it isn't a clean line like my other two. Maybe if I finally get pregnant, the scars will be worth it but right now I just hate them.

    Also, I know this comment is crazy negative but I am totally PMSing right now so this is the best I can do today. Ha!

    Oh and if it makes you feel any better, I think your tummy is adorable and I love your little scars. Why is it so easy for us to accept flaws on other people but so hard to accept on ourselves?

  13. Reply

    Christina

    June 6, 2011

    I too have scars from a a removal of a huge ovarian cyst (laposcopry) and I thought they would never go away but, then i forgot about them and they just lightened. It is a mark of survival and of healing.

  14. Reply

    lisa

    June 6, 2011

    oh carly i keep changing what i want to write to you… having been the girl SOBBING in the pool bathroom the first time i had to wear a bathing suit post surgery i want to tell you that they really aren't that bad, but i know that only goes so far. so here are my tips to help them fade: use a high spf (like 60) sunscreen on them when they are exposed to the sun for at least the next year, because the sun WILL make them darker. vitamin e oil or cream will help them fade, just watch out especially with the oil because it might stain your clothes. i've just started trying out Mederma on a more recent non-surgical scar and it seems to be helping a bit. over time they'll just become a part of you and a reminder of the strength you could find within yourself when you needed to… or at least that's what i keep telling myself 😉

    ps – i have one of similar size on my back that i never even think of because of the scar that runs the length of my spine… perspective is a funny thing isn't it? 🙂

  15. Reply

    Jodi

    June 6, 2011

    Scars suck – no doubt about it. But I think it is more about what the scars represent to you then the actual marks. I think you would look great in a 2 piece. But maybe you aren't ready b/c every time you sees the scars you have to think about the medical problems and the "baby" stuff. So do what makes you feel most comfortable. Don't worry about what others think. The scars will fade a lot more over time. But the emotions of what you've been through are there w/ or w/o the scars! To me you seem very strong and I think it is great you express yourself freely on your blog. Stay strong and wear what ever the heck you want to the beach!!! 🙂

  16. Reply

    Carly

    June 7, 2011

    Blogger is making it impossible for me to sign into my own blog. This is ridiculous.

    Anyway, thank you all for your kind words. You are making me feel better about my little battle wounds. I can't tell you how much I appreciate every one of your comments. 🙂

  17. Reply

    Anonymous

    June 7, 2011

    Point #1: the bathing suit is cute
    Point #2: I think it's natural to be upset by scars. But they will heal with time. Try putting a good antioxidant serum for your face on them. There's little evidence showing Mederma or pure Vitamin E oil reduce scarring. However, a good antioxidant serum will help. Go to http://www.beautypedia.com/ and select Best Products. Pick Anti-Wrinkle/Anti-Aging and look at the serums in this list. I use Olay's Regenerist Serum (fragrance free). It's nice and light, with all the antioxidants you can want.

    I get why you're upset about your scars. Hopefully, with a few months or a year of covering up and using something on your scars, maybe they'll fade?!

    Krista (can't log into blogger either …)

  18. Reply

    Anonymous

    June 7, 2011

    p.S. Even though there's little to no scientific evidence of Mederma or Vitamin E (and some scientific literature showing vitamin E makes scars DARKER), it does seem to work for some people. My dad swore by Vitamin E after having a hip replacement surgery. (Granted, he doesn't wear bikinis to show up his hip scars!) And my mom swore by Mederma after she fell in the bathroom and hit her head, getting a large scar across her forehead a couple years ago. So I'm not discounting them, I'm just saying the literature won't support htem, but it does support antioxidant serums.

  19. Reply

    stephanie michele

    June 7, 2011

    Those scars aren't bad! I have a rather large scar on my lower right side from a ruptured appendectomy when I was nine that I was self conscious about all through my teen years – then I realized that it was just my battle scar and I was actually proud to have survived the whole ordeal and I got over it. Now that I've had baby, my stomach is a mess of stretch marks and I doubt I'll ever be in a two piece again so, please, for me, wear a two piece with pride. You are a beautiful woman with a figure that I'm totally jealous of – you need to flaunt it!

  20. Reply

    Geek in Heels

    June 7, 2011

    I would kill for your abs, scars and all.

    I was having a conversation about a girlfriend about how we're both the heaviest we've ever been in our lives, and how we'd love to have our college bodies back and what in the world were we thinking, believing we were fat back then?

    However, we're both also the happiest we've ever been with our bodies. I don't know if it's an aging thing, if we've just given up, or what. But we look at our extra fat, extra lines, and even our extra scars and they don't bother us that much anymore. They're just a part of who we are now, and they're what made us US and reminders of this journey called life. And while we still do our best to take care of of our bodies, we don't fight it nearly as much as we used to.

    Cheesy, I know. And I have no idea if this helps you at all. But I hope that you will one day look at your scars and be proud of them as I am of all the scars (emotional and physical) I've accumulated in my lifetime. They still hurt, they're still ugly, and I still wish them gone sometimes. But with each passing day I love them a little more and more.

  21. Reply

    Anonymous

    June 7, 2011

    I have a huge scar across the bottom of my neck up to my ear from thyroid cancer surgery. I tried pretty much every product to fade it and the only thing that worked for me was time. It slowly faded over time. I still have people how stare at it, but I'm not going to wear turtlenecks all the time to hide it! I actually just saw this quote on a magnet that I love: "Scars are tattoos with better stories."

    It will fade, just remember sunscreen!

  22. Reply

    violarulz/ducksandbooks

    June 8, 2011

    I've got a few scars from being a klutz-o and maiming myself over the years. I'm not sure if it's Mederma or messaging something moisturizing into new scars, but I'd start rubbing something on them as soon as your skin is fully healed and keep messaging it in 2x a day for as long as you can remember to.

  23. Reply

    honey my heart

    June 8, 2011

    your scars are small, hardly noticeable. i guess you can look at them as battle wounds on life's journey. and we all have them 🙂

  24. Reply

    Mandy

    June 8, 2011

    I totally get where you're coming from, being self-conscious about them even though they're small–it's not what you're used to seeing, and it can be a little unsettling.

    I had surgery almost two weeks ago and have six scars on my belly now, right where yours are…the two longest are about 3 inches across. I also have 6 scars on my ribcage from previous surgery…aaaand I might go back in for surgery in a couple of months for more scars on my ribcage. I feel like I'm destroying my body with all of these ugly marks, but the results of the surgery DO make it worth it.

    They'll definitely keep fading…you'll probably have some puffy skin there for the rest of your life (the scars on my ribcage are the same color as the rest of my skin, just slightly raised/puffy). In the meantime, wear whatever makes you happy and comfortable!

  25. Reply

    sillie smile

    June 15, 2011

    not sure if you want to hear me complain about my body issues because it's from having kids. not that i'm not grateful for them, but wow. quickest way to feel like a freakin ahjumma is to gain 20 pounds and not be able to diet/lose the weight in the manner you normally would.

    *sigh*
    so yes, i have body issues. and a scar that looks to be developing into a nasty keloid. nice.

    i was hoping to avoid everyone for a year, so that i had time to lose the baby weight, since this is my last. but looks like i have to face up to it, shop for clothes in my bigger size (where really… nothing looks good on a fat a$$) just so i can feel a tiny bit better about myself when i see some old friends.

    so did not mean to bring you down with my comments! HAHA! just venting, since my husband sucks at knowing what to say in these kind of situations.

    super cute swimsuit, btw. 🙂

  26. Reply

    Kristin ~ Bien Living Design

    June 15, 2011

    As much as I'm into 1 pieces this year, you could & should rock a bikini! Hottie 🙂

  27. Reply

    waitingforthenugget

    July 12, 2011

    Your abs are awesome – scar or no scar!!! You should definitely still rock a bikini this summer!!! In 30 years, you'll look back and wonder what you were so concerned about. A friend of my mom's told me once to be kinder to yourself regarding body image because now looking back she wishes she had been less reserved and embraced her young, hot bod before time took it's toll!

    Remember to wear sunscreen – even putting a higher SPF just on the scars since they are new and still healing. If a scar tissue gets sunburned, it may
    never fade to your normal skin color and may always be darker than the rest of your skin.

    I had a lap surgery too just two weeks ago and was shocked at how high the incisions were when I woke up. I had read that they were located along the top of the pubic hair line, so was expecting them to be covered by underwear and bikini bottoms. Oh well!!!

    Good luck on TTC!!! I will check back and hope to find some very happy news on here!!!

  28. Reply

    Anonymous

    July 27, 2012

    I have a 5 inch scar going up my stomache, super noticibal. Dont worry! Seriously I didnt even know that those scars were there on you!(:

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